Your choice of doors will have a significant impact on the style and useability of your garden room. We thought it would be interesting to mock up a pretty standard garden room design and fit it with different styles of door. As you can see, each door type has a significant impact on the style of the building.
French doors are often the standard option offered by garden room companies. Both doors open outwards into the garden, meaning you don't need to leave space for the swing of the door inside the room. You can open just one door for day to day access or both doors if you want to open up the room onto the garden.
Long windows often accompany French doors on either side. These sidelights vary in width depending on how big an expanse of glazing you are trying to create. Some companies offer the option of adding an opening section at the top of the sidelights. Some people think adding an opening window divides the glazing up too much - too much framework, not enough glass! Having the opening window does offer the flexibility of opening the window rather than the door to let some air into the room.
Sliding doors are an alternative standard option offered by some companies. There is, however, nothing standard about a garden room fitted with sliding doors, as they create a great connection between room and garden.
Standard size sliding doors can be a cost-effective way of creating a large expanse of floor to ceiling glazing. They can be manufactured in custom sizes too, with extra-wide sliding doors a hallmark of high-spec bespoke garden room designs.
Commonly, sliding doors have two leaves which bypass each other on the track. On wide configurations, you will find that three doors are often used that slide to one side of the opening, stacking over each other.
Standard design sliding doors, push to one side, stacking one on top of the other. This allows for easy movement in and out of the building, but you don't get as large an opening onto the garden, as you do with some of the other door options.
Sliding doors are a great choice if you are adding a veranda along the front of your garden room, as you don't have to allow for the swing of the door when positioning furniture or pots.
French Sliding Doors
French sliding doors are a cross between the two options already described. At first glance, they look just like outward opening French Doors. When you come to use them though, they are sliding doors.
Rather than one door bypassing the other, as we have seen above, this style of door meets in the middle, with each door sliding to one side. When open, the doors neatly stack in front of the sidelight windows.
With French sliding doors, you do not have the swing of the door to consider; this makes them particularly useful in situations where you want to sit in front of the garden room, for instance on a veranda.
The way the doors sit, when opened over the sidelights creates a wide opening between the room and garden. They are a great choice if you want to create a free-flowing movement between the garden and room.
Bi-fold doors have become the most desirable option in garden room design. They are popular because they can be slid to one side, creating a free-flowing connection between room and garden.
You will find that bi-fold doors are a more expensive choice than the other options we have explored, but if you like the idea of being able to fold a large section of wall to one side, then they are worth the extra cost!
Some buyers question the security levels of bi-fold doors. Each door in the bi-fold configuration has its own locking system, so they are as secure as other types of door we have explored. To fold back the doors, you just release the bolts and with a gentle effort, push them along the track to one side.
You don't have to open all the doors at once. For day to day access into the room, you can open just one door, leaving the others locked.
The number of door leaves will depend on the width of your opening. You can also choose whether the doors slide to the right or left of the building. On wider configurations, you can choose to have doors that meet in the middle, with half sliding to the right and the other half to the left.
Your choice of doors is one of the big design decisions when buying a garden room
As you can see from our mock-ups, your choice of door can have a real impact on the style and feel of a garden room. We think they are one of the biggest design decisions you can make, so spend time considering your options.
It would be worth asking your designer if they can mock up your design showing what different doors will look like or show you photos of similar designs utilising different door styles.